Shopping addiction -help or support group in Belfast ?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
5 replies 2.6K views
joylikes2shopjoylikes2shop Forumite
472 Posts
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
A family member has had a shopping addiction for years which has never been addressed properly.... We've destroyed credit & store cards and paid off her debts in the past but she is using a debit card to make her purchases now...This family member ( mid 40's) has moderate learning difficulties and is currently being assessed for adult autism so the impulsive shopping might be part of the condition but she needs help now. She is not in debt,but is going through money like snow off a ditch- I discovered yesterday that she has just taken out a new mobile phone contract (£200 for the phone,plus £15 per month contract for 2 years plus £7+ per month insurance ....and she's only 4 months into an existing 2 year mobile phone contract 😡)
I accompanied my relative to a Drs appointment yesterday to see what help was available for the shopping addiction because all research I'd done into shopping addiction says to go to your GP first... But the GP wasn't aware of any help for this type of addiction & told us to research support groups etc online... But I can't find anything 😔
If anyone has any knowledge of support groups,or help for people with shopping addiction, based in or around Belfast,I'd be extremely grateful to hear about them.


  • lauralandlauraland Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    Is there a social worker involved? Might be worth seeking advice from them if not.

    There is something called financial guardianship, which a relative could control an individuals finances, but this is hard to get if the person is deemed as having capacity, and is not in any serious financial risk.

    You may be able to set up an informal agreement, and give out a set allowance daily or weekly, but ultimately the individual can take back control of their finances at any time.

    Another option may be counselling to discuss any underlying issues surrounding the overspending, or simply a money management class as the person may simply not fully understand the impact of their spending habits.
    I got ham but i'm not a hamster.....
  • donnac2558donnac2558 Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Gamblers Anon, they consider shopping addiction as part of their thing. I know someone who enquired about a family member and was told to contact them. I actually thought it rather strange, but if they can help try calling a local group in your area and chatting with them.
  • joylikes2shopjoylikes2shop Forumite
    472 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thank you both so much for the advice and information...I'll investigate all the options mentioned.
  • If the family member has moderate learning difficulties, she may be able to get floating support services from a charity, particularly if her compulsive spending is putting her home at risk (due to possibility that she will prioritise other payments over rent/mortgage). Not sure if this is the right agency, but they may be able to signpost you elsewhere.
  • saverbuyersaverbuyer Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    This was one of the topics discussed today on Radio 4 "call you and yours". OP it might be worth a listen on iplayer. Talked about the link to this, mental health problems and aspergers syndrome.
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